Step by step instructions for submitting Maya jobs with Qube!


    Step 1 (First Time Only)

    Install the Qube! Submission UI into Maya

    If you want the submission menu inside of Maya (recommended) then install the InApp plugins via the Qube! WranglerView as shown here. To do this, launch the WranglerView:

    • Windows: Double-click the color desktop icon
    • OS X: Find the color icon in Applications/pfx/qube and double-click on it
    • Linux: Type 'qube' at the command line (without the quotes)

    Then navigate to the File menu, choose "Install App UI" and choose "Install Maya App UI"

    You will need to do this on every workstation that you intend to submit Maya jobs from. If you don't see the "Maya App UI" entry in the menu, the Maya JobType was not installed. This should have happened with you installed the Worker, but if not, see this page for details of installing it.

     

    Step 2

    Once installed you should be able to locate the "Qube!" menu in Maya's menu bar.

    With a scene loaded in Maya choose "Submit Maya Render Job...".

    Note that you could also choose "Submit Batch Render..." depending on your requirements.

    Render vs Batch Render

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    What's the difference?

    Submit Render will open a copy (instance) of Maya on the Worker that picks up the job, and that instance will render frames as assigned by the Supervisor. Since the scene file is only being opened one time, this can be faster to generate the full sequence.

    Submit Batch Render will use the command line to open a new instance of the Maya file for each frame that it renders. Although this can be slower for large scenes, it can also be more flexible in large, complex environments.

    Step 3

    This will present a pre-filled submission UI like the one shown here. Ensure sections marked in red have the correct details.

    Useful Settings

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    While not strictly required, the following settings are useful for getting a better result. You will need to turn on "Expert Mode" (check box at the bottom of the submission UI) in order to get access to them.

    • Optimize the use of cores. Set the "Slots = Threads" checkbox and then set the "Specific Thread Count" to a value like 8 (assuming you have 8 cores). (If you have Designer licenses, only set the thread count. Do not check "Slots = Threads")
    • By default, Qube! will not retry failed frames. So set the "Retry frame/instance" value to 3 or 5, to get 3 or 5 retries before it gives up. Related to that, the default wait between retries is zero seconds, which is typically not useful. Set the "Retry Work Delay" to a value like 5 or 10 to allow machines time to recover from temporary problems such as network errors.

    Step 4

    Click 'Submit'

    For further details on the submission UI see below.

    Job Submission Details


     

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    Not all sections need to be filled in in order to render only the fields marked in red are required

     

     Click here for details...

    Name
    This is the name of the job of the job so it can be easily identified in the Qube! UI.

    Priority
    Every job in Qube is assigned a numeric priority. Priority 1 is higher than priority 100. This is similar to 1st place, 2nd place, 3rd place, etc. The default priority assigned to a job is 9999.

    Instances
    This is the number of copies of the application that will run at the same time across the network. The combination of "Instances=1" and "Max Instances=-1" means that this job will take as much of the farm as it can, and all jobs will share evenly across the farm.

    Examples:

    On a 12 slot(core) machine running Maya if you set
    "Instances" to 4
    "Reservations" to "host.processors=3"
    Qube! will open 4 sessions of Maya on the Worker(s) simultaneously, which may consume all slots/cores on a given Worker.

    if you set
    "Instances" to 1
    "Reservations" to "host.processors=1+"
    Qube will open 1 session of Maya on a Worker, consuming all slots/cores ("host.processors=1+" is used for all slots/cores).

    Max Instances
    If resources are available, Qube! will spawn more than 'Instances' copies of the application, but no more than 'Max Instances'. The default of -1 means there is no maximum. If this is set to 0, then it won't spawn more than 'Instances' copies.

    More on Instances & Reservations & SmartShare Studio Defaults

     Click here for details...

    Range  

    Frame range for the job (e.g 1-100, or 1-100x3, or 1,3,7,10). Most jobs require a frame range to execute on the Workers. You can set this range in a few different ways :

    • "1-100" will just render the range between 1 and 100
    • "1-100x3" will render every 3rd frame in the range 1 to 100; 1, 4, 7, ..., 94, 97, 100
    • "1,3,7,10" will only render the selected frames 1,3,7,10

    rangeOrdering
    Order to render the items. (Ascending=1,2,3,4,5...,Descending=10,9,8...,Binary=first,middle,last...) You can set the order in which your frames are rendered. The drop down options are:

    • "Ascending" - this will render the frames counting upwards from your start frame
    • "Decending" - this will render the frames counting backwards from your end frame
    • "Binary" - This will render the first, last, and middle frames of the range, then the middle frame of the first half and the middle frame of the second half, and so on. This is useful for sampling the frames in the sequence to make sure it is rendering correctly.

     Click here for details...

    Use Preview Frames  

    Enabling preview frames will create 2 jobs:

    • A primary dependent job with a higher priority that will render the selected frames first 
    • A secondary job with lower priority that will render the remaining frames. This will return the selected frames faster so that you can check the accuracy of your renders.

    Frame Numbers

    Choose the frames that you wish to render first. If left blank the default is to render the first frame, the last frame and the middle frame in that order. You can select specific frames by adding comma separated frame numbers e.g 1,2,10,15,75, or a range with, e.g., 1-100x5 (1 to 100, every 5th frame)

    Preview Priority

    Choose the priority for the preview job. This can be set by the site admin.

    Preview Subjobs

    Choose the number of instances / subjobs for the preview frames. By default, this is equal to the number of preview frames - that is, it will try to do all the preview frames at the same time.

    Note that when you submit a job with preview frames enabled, it will actually submit 2 jobs—one with the preview frames list at a higher priority, and another with the rest of the agenda, at the normal priority (as specified in the job's Priority field). You will get, consequently, 2 job IDs for the submission.

     Click here for details...

    New in 6.4-4
    For applications/renderers that do not support using all cores while rendering (or changing that behavior, eg AfterEffects or 3dsMax), this section is not visible.

    Render on all Cores
    Checking this box means that once this job is assigned to a machine, no more jobs or instances will be assigned to the same machine until this job is complete. You might choose this if your know your render job is very memory intensive and shouldn't run alongside other jobs.

    Min Free Slots
    This is the number of slots that must be available on a worker in order for the worker to accept the job. For example, if you choose '1', a worker with 7 out of 8 cores already in use will still accept this job. However, if you were to choose '2', the same machine under the same circumstances would not accept the job. 


    Preemption

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    This option does not preempt any previously running instances on the worker, it only prevents additional instances from being assigned to this worker.

     

     

     Click here for details...

    New in 6.4-4
    For applications/renderers that do not support setting a specific number of threads, this section is not visible.

    Slots = Threads
    If this box is checked, it tells Qube and the application (eg, Maya) to use the specific number of threads listed in the "Specific Thread Count" field. If this is not checked, then the "Specific Thread Count" value is passed only to the application, but Qube is unaware of the number of cores/slots it should reserve. In most cases, you will want to check this box, unless you have Designer licenses, in which case you would only set the numeric value.

    Specific Thread Count
    This tells the renderer to use a specific number of threads for rendering. The default is one thread, which for any modern renderer will underperform, and when combined with the slots=threads, will swamp most workers by running as many instances as there are slots (eg, a 24 core machine would run 24 instances of the application/renderer). A better value is 8 (assuming you have 8 cores, as most modern machines do) which means that each instance of the job will use 8 threads to render, and, when combined with slots=threads, will reserve 8 slots while doing so.

    Designer License

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    Designer licenses are restricted to 1 slot, so if you are using a Qube Designer license, set the Specific Thread Count, but do not check the "Slots=Threads" option.

    Parameters Specific to Maya

     

     Click here for details...

    Scenefile
    Path to Maya scene (required). Browse for or enter manually the location of the scene file to be rendered. This is a required field for submission.

    Important: Best practice is to ensure the scene file and all of its dependent files such as textures are on network storage accessible by the workers.

     

    Project dir
    Path to Maya project directory. If you are submitting from Maya, this will be filled in for you. Otherwise, browse for or enter manually the location of the project directory.

    Important: Best practice is to ensure the project directory and all of its dependent files such as textures are on network storage accessible by the workers.

     

     Click here for details...

    Cameras
    List of cameras to use for render (space-separated). Choose from pre-populated list and or enter manually cameras to override scene settings.

    Layers
    List of layers to render (space-separated). Choose from pre populated and or enter manually layers to override scene settings.

    EnableDefaultLight
    Choose from drop down to override scene settings.

     Click here for details...

    Renderer
    Choose from drop down to override scene settings 

    Render Threads
    Number of threads each subjob should use. This is set for you if you set the Specific Thread Count above. Set to -1 to use the value of host.processors instead, 0 to use all cores on the Worker (if the renderer supports that).  

    Ignore Errors
    Tick the box to ignore errors. This ignores error messages that are generated during the render that would otherwise cause frames to fail. 

    Distributed Rendering
    Enable Distributed Rendering (mental ray satellite OR V-Ray DR). Choose from the drop down to override scene settings. See also Distributed Renders with mental ray or V-Ray

    Maya Executable
    Browse for or specify the path to the maya executable file (mayabatch.exe for Windows), if you want to override the auto-detected default. In normal circumstances, this field should be left blank.

    Important : Be aware that if you are submitting from one OS to another, the path to the executable will be different. Qube! will handle that if you leave this field blank.

     Click here for details...

    Render dir
    Path to Maya output render directory. Browse to or manually enter the location of the output image file you wish to generate. You should never have to set this manually.

    Important: Best practice is to ensure outputs are written to network storage accessible by the workers.

    File Name Prefix
    Image file name prefix overrides the Maya scene settings, eg in name.#.ext, name would be changed.

    Frame/Anim Ext
    Choose from drop down to override the Maya scene settings, and position the frame numbers in the output file name.

    Frame Padding
    Number of digits for frame number, e.g. using 4 would produce name.0001.ext.

    Renumber StartFrame
    The starting output image filename extension value. Enter the numeric value to override the Maya scene settings.

    Renumber ByFrame
    The output image filename extension step ('by' or increment) value. Enter the numeric value to override the Maya scene settings.

    File Extension
    The string added at the end of the file name. Enter the file extension value to override scene settings.

     Click here for details...

    Image Width (pixels)
    Image width. Enter the numeric value to override scene settings

    Image Height (pixels)
    Image height. Enter the numeric value to override scene settings

    Maintain Aspect Ratio
    Maintain Aspect ratio. Select required option from drop down

    Maintain Ratio
    Maintain ratio. Select required option from drop down

    Pixels/Inch
    Resolution (Pixels/Inch). Enter the numeric value to override scene settings

    Device Aspect Ratio
    Device Aspect Ratio. Enter the numeric value to override scene settings

    Pixel Aspect Ratio
    Pixel Aspect Ratio. Enter the numeric value to override scene settings

     Click here for details...

    preRenderMel
    The mel string to be executed before a scene is rendered. Enter the script string.

    postRenderMel
    The mel string to be executed after a scene is rendered. Enter the script string.

    preRenderLayerMel
    The mel string to be executed before a render layer is rendered. Enter the script string.

    postRenderLayerMel
    The mel string to be executed after a render layer is rendered. Enter the script string.

    preRenderFrameMel
    The mel string to be executed before a frame is rendered. Enter the script string.

    postRenderFrameMel
    The mel string to be executed after a frame is rendered. Enter the script string.

     Click here for details...

    Qube Job Tags
    New in Qube 6.5

    Note: The Job Tags section of the submission UI will not be visible unless they are turned on in the Preferences in the Wrangler View UI. Job Tags are explained in detail on the Job Tags page.

     Click here for details...

    Hosts

    Explicit list of Worker hostnames that will be allowed to run the job (comma-separated).

    Groups

    Explicit list of Worker groups that will be allowed to run the job (comma-separated). Groups identify machines through some attribute they have, eg, a GPU, an amount of memory, a license to run a particular application, etc. Jobs cannot migrate from one group to another. See worker_groups.

    Omit Hosts

    Explicit list of Worker hostnames that are not allowed run the job (comma-separated).

    Omit Groups

    Explicit list of Worker groups that are not allowed to run the job (comma-separated).

    Priority Cluster

    Clusters are non-overlapping sets of machines. Your job will run at the given priority in the given cluster. If that cluster is full, the job can run in a different cluster, but at lower priority. Clustering

    Example:

    • A job submitted to /showB/lighting will run with its given priority in /showB/lighting cluster.

    • If /showB/lighting is full, that job can run in /showB/FX, but at a lower priority.

    • If both /showB/lighting and /showB/FX are full, the job can run in /showA/* at an even lower priority.

     

    Host Order

    Order to select Workers for running the job (comma-separated) [+ means ascending, - means descending].

    Host Order is a way of telling the job how to select/order workers

      • "+host.processors.avail" means prefer workers which have more slots available

      • "+host.memory.avail" means prefer workers which have more memory available

      • "+host.memory.total" means prefer workers which have more total memory

      • "+host.processor_speed" means prefer workers with higher cpu speeds

      • "+host.cpus" means prefer workers with higher total cpu slots

     

    Requirements

    Worker properties needed to be met for job to run on that Worker (comma-separated, expression-based). Click 'Browse' to choose from a list of Host Order Options.

    Requirements is a way to tell the workers that this job needs specific properties to be present in order to run. The drop-down menu allows a choice of OS:

    • "winnt" will fill the field with "host.os=winnt" which means only run on Windows based workers

    • "linux" will fill the field with "host.os=linux" which means only run on Linux based workers

    • "osx" will fill the field with "host.os=osx" which means only run on OSX based workers

    You can also add any other Worker properties via plain text. Some examples: 

    • "host.processors.avail.=4" means only run this job on workers that have 4 or more slots available

    • "host.processors.used=0" means only run this job on workers with 0 slots in use

    • "host.memory.avail=400" means only run this job on workers that have 400 memory available

    With integer values, you can use any numerical relationships, e.g. =, <, >, <=, >=. This won't work for string values or floating point values. Multiple requirements can also be combined with AND and OR (the symbols && and || will also work).

    The 'Only 1 of a "kind" of job' checkbox will restrict a Worker to running only one instance with a matching "kind" field (see below). The prime example is After Effects, which will only allow a single instance of AE on a machine. Using this checkbox and the "Kind" field, you can restrict a Worker to only one running copy of After Effects, while still leaving the Worker's other slots available for other "kinds" of jobs.

     

    Reservations

    Worker resources to reserve when running job (comma-separated, expression-based).  

    Reservations is a way to tell the workers that this job will reserve the specific resources for this job.

    Menu items:

    • "host.processors" this will fill the field with "host.processors=X" which means reserve X slots on the worker while running this job

    • "host.memory" this will fill the field with "host.memory=X" which means only reserve X memory on the worker while running this job

    Other options:

    • "host.license.nuke=1" when a Global Resources entry has been made you can reserve any arbitrary named item. New in 6.6: Once you create a global resource, it will show up in this menu (eg global.vray above).

    • See also Job Reservations

     

    Restrictions

    Restrict job to run only on specified clusters ("||"-separated) [+ means all below, * means at that level]. Click 'Browse' to choose from a list of Restrictions Options.

    Restrictions is a way to tell the workers that this job can only run on specific clusters. You can choose more than one cluster in the list.

    Examples:

    • Choosing /showA would restrict the job to machines that are only in the /showA cluster, and no other cluster, not even those below /showA.

    • Choosing /showA/* would restrict the job to the cluster(s) below /showA, but not including /showA

    • Choosing /showA/+ would restrict the job to /showA and all the clusters below it.

     

    See Also

     Click here for details...

    Flags

    List of submission flag strings (comma separated). Click 'Browse' to choose required job flags.

     

    See this page for a full explanation of flag meanings

     

    Dependency

    Wait for specified jobs to complete before starting this job (comma-separated). Click 'Add' to create dependent jobs.

    You can link jobs to each other in several ways:

    • "complete" means only start this job after designated job completes
    • "failed" means only start this job if the designated job fails
    • "killed" means only start this job if the designated job has been killed
    • "done" means start this job if the designated job is killed/failed/complete

    The second menu chooses between "job" (the entire set of frames) and "work" (typically a frame). So to link frame 1 of one job to frame 1 of a second, job, you would choose "work" in this menu. If you want to wait for all the frames of one job to complete before starting a second, then choose "job". The other option, "subjob", refers to the instance of a job. This is much less common, but means that, for example, the instance of Maya that was running frames has completed.

    For a complete description on how to define complex dependencies between jobs or frames, please refer to the Callbacks section of the Developers Guide.


    Email (job complete)

    Send email on job completion (success or failure). Sends mail to the designated user.

    Email (failed frames)

    Sends mail to the designated user if frames fail.

    Blocked

    Set initial state of job to "blocked".

    Stderr->Stdout

    Redirect and consolidate the job stderr stream to the stdout stream. Enable this if you would like to combine your logs into one stream.

    Job Label

    Optional label to identify the job. Must be unique within a Job Process Group. This is most useful for submitting sets of dependent jobs, where you don't know in advance the job IDs to depend on, but you do know the labels. 

    Job Kind

    Arbitrary typing information that can be used to identify the job. It is commonly used to make sure only one of this "kind" of job runs on a worker at the same time by setting the job's requirements to include "not (job.kind in host.duty.kind)". See How to restrict a host to only one instance of a given kind of job, but still allow other jobs

    Process Group

    Job Process Group for logically organizing dependent jobs. Defaults to the jobid. Combination of "label" and "Process Group" must be unique for a job. See Process group labels

    Retry Frame/Instance

    Number of times to retry a failed frame/job instance. The default value of -1 means don't retry.

    Retry Work Delay

    Number of seconds between retries.

    Subjob Timeout

    Kill the subjob process if running for the specified time (in seconds).  Value of -1 means disabled. Use this if the acceptable instance/subjob spawn time is known.

    Frame Timeout

    Kill the agenda/frame if running for the specified time (in seconds).  Value of -1 means disabled. Use this if you know how long frames should take, so that you can automatically kill those running long.

     Click here for details...

    Job Pre-flight
    Some executable (e.g. a script) that will run on the Worker before the job runs. If the pre-flight fails, the job will not run on this Worker, but will be moved to another. Useful for setting up environments, copying required images, checking the existence of fonts on the Worker, etc.

    Job Post-flight
    An executable that will run on the Worker after the job has finished on that Worker. If this fails, the instance is failed.

    Work Pre-flight
    Some executable (e.g. a script) that will run on the Worker before the frame/work runs. If this fails, the frame/work will be marked as failed and rendering will be skipped. If there are retries configured, the frame/work will be treated according to those settings.

    Work Post-flight
    An executable that will run on the Worker after the frame/work runs. If this fails, the frame/work will be marked as failed, even if the render, itself, was succesful. If there are retries configured, the frame/work will be treated according to those settings.

     Click here for details...

    hh:mm M/D/Y
    The job is blocked on the Supervisor until this day and time. Click on "Time and Date" to get a calendar and time UI.

     Click here for details...

    Cwd

    Current Working Directory to use when running the job.

    Environment Variables

    Environment variables override when running a job. You can specify key/value pairs of environment variables

    This is useful when you might need different settings for your render applications based on different departments or projects.

    Impersonate User

    You can specify which user you would like to submit the job as. The default is the current user. The format is simply <username>. This is useful for troubleshooting a job that may fail if sent from a specific user.

    Example:
    Setting "josh" would attempt to submit the job as the user "josh" regardless of your current user ID.

    Note: In order to do this, the submitting user must have "impersonate user" permissions.

     Click here for details...

    GenerateMovie

    Select this option to create a secondary job that will wait for the render to complete then combine the output files into a movie.

    Note: For this to work correctly the "Qube (ImagesToMovie) Job..." has to be setup to use your studios transcoding application.

     

     Click here for details...

    Account
    Arbitrary accounting or project data (user-specified). This can be used for creating tags for your job.

    You can add entries by typing in the drop-down window or select already created accounts from the drop-down.

    See also Qube! Job Tags

    Notes
    Freeform text for making notes on this job. Add text about the job for future reference. Viewable in the Qube UI.

     

     

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